Three projects that could potentially reduce the amount of retail packaging waste that ends up in UK household bins by 41,895 tonnes every year are the latest to have received funding from WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) – a UK programme established to promote resource efficiency.
Contracts with a combined value of £324,584 were recently signed by Compak Packaging, Esterform, and the Soil Association, taking the number of projects supported by WRAP to ten, since the Innovation Fund’s launch in November 2004.
The Soil Association has been awarded £186,000 for a year-long project to develop new packaging standards that organic products must meet in order to achieve Soil Association Certification.
Pilot projects will be carried out with Duchy Originals, Green & Black’s and Sheepdrove Organic Farm to reduce packaging waste at source and show how minimisation can work in practice.
For its part, Esterform has been awarded £104,500 in WRAP funding to assess how PET bottles can be made lighter, and the impact that this could have on the many millions of PET bottles that are manufactured in the UK.
Previous attempts at making such bottles lighter by changing parts on moulds have already led to small, incremental changes. However, WRAP’s funding will help Esterform to take advantage of recent developments in resin and blow moulding technology, which will allow further significant weight savings to be achieved with minimal impact on performance.
The Innovation Fund has also approved £33,700 in funding for Compak Packaging, to support the research and development of a new type of stretchwrap which could reduce the weight of existing stretchwrap by approximately 30 per cent.
WRAP’s Innovation Fund Manager, Mike Robey, is keen to see more high quality bids come through in time for the next round of funding, which closes on September 15.
Details of all WRAP’s activities are available at www.wrap.org.uk.